Launch of the book ‘Indian Economy since Independence’

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Jawaharlal Nehru University Professor Arun Kumar’s book Indian Economy since Independence: Persistent Colonial Disruption, published by Vision Books, New Delhi was launched in New Delhi recently. A distinguished panel comprising people from education, media and politics vigorously discussed the big question raised by the book, namely Why does India remain poor and backward? Mani Shankar Aiyar, MP and senior Congress leader described the book as a serious work reflecting the growing disillusionment of the public. Arun says, “If we want to discover our current concerns we need to go back to the long history of ours. The way out is to return to domestic source of knowledge and find an authentic model.”

Taking the note of that the Indian economy began in 1991, as perceived by most youngsters in India, Prof Arun Kumar stressed that they do not understand the development paradigm in the 1950s. “The colonial rule created disruptions in the economic and social spheres. The drain of wealth from agriculture led to its backwardness. Deindustrialisation led to weakness in the industry and research and development. We need to look at our problems from the Indian perspective. If we generate knowledge we can create an alternative. Otherwise, as Margaret Thatcher once remarked there will always be the TINA (there is no other alternative) factor,” he mentioned.

Other distinguished speakers included Suhas Borker, convener, Working Group on Alternative Strategies; Professor Pulin Nayak, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi; Mythili Bhusnurmath, consulting editor, The Economic Times; Kapil Malhotra, publisher, Vision Books.

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